The Mirror News

All roads lead to Foster Show this Saturday

FROM action to alpacas, classic cars to cakes, sheaf tossing to show jumping and wine to whip cracking, there really will be something for everyone in the family at the 110th Foster & District Show which is to take place this Saturday (February 25) at the Foster Showgrounds.

In the proud tradition of agricultural shows throughout Australia, the Foster Agricultural Society has spent the past 12 months planning for this day which brings the community together in celebration of all that is wonderful about living in a rural area.

Make sure to pick up a program as you enter through the gates so that you can plan your day so as not to miss any of the exciting events or displays which are sure to pique your interest.

Toora & District Community Bank®, Foster branch and the Welshpool agency are proud to once again sponsor the Foster Show $200 gate prize. Upon entry at the gates, you will receive a card on which to complete your details.  The entry box is placed at the Community Bank marquee (inside the Basketball Stadium).  The winning entry is to be  drawn on the day during the grand parade.

Robbie Allan, the oldest Life Member of the Foster and District Agricultural Society, will officially open the 2017 Foster Show at noon.  South Gippsland Shire Mayor Cr Ray Argento will then extend a warm welcome to everyone –  in particular the 250 farming families who, through the Dairy Farmers Tight Times program received tickets for the Show.

There will be plenty of action throughout the day such as the sheaf tossing competition (12.15pm at the front of the secretary’s office at 12 noon), gum boot throwing (at 1.15pm, free entry), and demonstrations of whip cracking by Emiliqua East, a 16-year-old Australian Whip Cracking Champion who will be demonstrating her expertise at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm. The Grand Parade will take place at 2pm.

Emiliqua is the current whip cracking State Champion for Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland and last year won the Australian Bullock Whip Championship title. She is the only Victorian to have ever won this event and to do so, had to compete against adult women and men – including previous winners.

Her first award was a First ribbon at the Royal Melbourne Show in 2010 when she was just 10. Last year Emiliqua was appointed to the judging panel for the Australian Whip cracking Titles at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

In addition to demonstrating her whip cracking techniques at the Foster Show, Emiliqua carries out demonstrations at East Gippsland agricultural shows, the East Gippsland Field Days, the Man From Snowy River annual gathering at Corryong, and at the Mountain Cattlemen Association’s annual gathering. This community minded young woman also contributes her time to train and mentor children in the techniques of whip cracking.

Animal lovers will enjoy the dog high jump (at 12.30pm), dog parade (at 1.45pm), working dog yard trials, the myriad of equine events, the donkeys, mules, cattle, rabbits, chickens and ducks.

Adding to the atmosphere will be free live entertainment from local musicians and bands including The Grand Ole Factory Band who have been playing music together for nearly three years. Drawing on a wealth of experience, they jam every Sunday at the old butter factory in Foster and, due to having five singers, have built up a large eclectic repertoire.

The band consists of Gary Eldred (guitar, vocals), Sally Baldwin (keyboard, vocals) Joe Eldred (bass), Geoff ‘Dog’ Sparkes (guitar, vocals, Andy Mitchell (guitar, harmonica, trumpet, vocals percussion), Peter ‘Lovey’ Wright (12 string guitar), Gavin Westaway (banjo, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Breandan ‘Batman’ Roberts (drums).

The band is a regular at the monthly Open Mic at the Foster Golf Club, have supported Wilbur Wilde at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre, has played to a capacity crowd at the Rhythm Café as well as having performed at the Tarwin Lower Hotel, Port Welshpool’s Sea Days Festival, Australia Day celebrations at Port Albert and, more recently the Outdoor Expo in Foster.

Their vast and varied repertoire caters for all age groups and includes songs by Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, Dire Straits, Ry Cooder, John Hiatt and the Rolling Stones – to name just a few!

Activities to keep the children occupied and entertained include sideshows, dodgem cars and a slot car track. Free activities will include the Gladiator Arena where the kids can dress up as gladiators, the ever-popular jumping castle, face painting and animal nursery (gold coin donation appreciated). There will also be a gumboot throwing competition, funny balloons, show bags, art and craft, Shetland ponies and, last but not least – the fascinating reptile show ‘The Snake Pit’. The art of local primary school children will be on display in the basketball stadium.

Those interested in photography should also head over to the stadium to see entries in the Photographic Competition / Exhibition.

There will also be a display of articles and photos from past years, these have been compiled during the past 12 months by residents of Prom Country House.

Be sure to take a stroll along the Avenue of Agriculture which this year will feature 14 niche farming selections to view – including truffles, herbs, buffalo, goats, pigs, fleece, bees, worm farming, rabbits, manuka plants and garlic. A demonstration of sheep shearing will also take place on the Avenue.

The Exhibit Shed will open a little later than the other venues due to the time taken for the judges to inspect and cast votes on the hundreds of entries in categories such as floral art, cut flowers,  crochet and knitting, sewing and needlecraft, patchwork, craft, home made wine and beer, jams, preserves and sauces, cakes, garden and farm produce.

While taking a wander around the show grounds, keep an eye out for the beautiful and immaculately presented classic cars which will be on display.

Local charity and community groups, along with emergency services will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about their services.

Those aged between three to 15 years of age will have the opportunity to enter the various categories of Miss Petite, Miss Junior, Miss Teenager and Master Tot by displaying their personality, stage presence and communication skills during interviews with two judges – and great prizes are up for grabs! Entry is free and registrations will be taken at the secretary’s office before 10.30am on the day.

If you are thinking of entering your child in Miss Show Girl or Master Tot here are a few tips for their preparation:

Be mindful that this is not a beauty pageant. What the judges are looking for is confidence, articulation and presentation.

So remember to give eye contact, prepare something interesting to say about yourself, your hobbies, interests, South Gippsland or even your favourite game or toy for the little ones. Make sure that your appearance is smart. Practise in front of the mirror the night before so you see what the judges see.

Most of all enjoy the experience.

The gates will open at around 9.30 a.m. to the public.

Entry to the Show is, for non-members, $10 per adult, concession $5, children under 16 years $1.

*Please note that times may be subject to change.

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